CASES of Covid-19 in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse have increased by more than 400 in just one week as the Prime Minister announced that most of England's pandemic restrictions will be scrapped on July 19.

In a press conference from Downing Street, Boris Johnson confirmed that the rule of six inside private homes will also be removed and work-from-home guidance abolished as 16 months of on-off restrictions on daily life end.

The PM confirmed he expects the final step would go ahead as planned on July 19.

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In addition, face masks will no longer be legally required and distancing rules will be scrapped as part of the final stage of the lockdown roadmap – a move which proved controversial amongst people in the two Oxfordshire districts.

Vale resident Louis Hall pointed out: "Who suffers most when we remove masks?

"It is people working in shops, hospitality and transport who will bear the brunt of the increase in risk.

"The same people who have already suffered disproportionately due to Covid-19.

"This does not seem right."

Many residents also shared Mr Hall's opinion, with Wantage resident Valentina Todero confirming that she will continue to wear a mask at least until the NHS vaccination program is completed.

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Currently, nearly two-thirds of people in the two districts have received two doses of a vaccine, with Vale of White Horse running slightly behind South Oxfordshire, figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal.

The data also reveals variation in coverage for residents who are fully vaccinated between different areas.

Areas with the lowest coverage in South Oxfordshire are Didcot Ladygrove with 52.3 per cent, Didcot West with 54.6 per cent and Didcot South East with 55.7 per cent.

Figures for Vale are similar with the lowest coverage recorded in Abingdon Town and West with 55.6 per cent, Botley and Kennington with 55.7 per cent, and Radley, Wootton and Marcham, 58.8 per cent.

Areas with the highest coverage in the two local authorities are Goring, Woodcote and Whitchurch with 74.8 per cent and Kingston Bagpuize and East Hanney with 69.6 per cent.

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The latest vaccination figures were released as dozens of further cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus, which was first identified in India, were recorded in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse in just a week.

Public Health England data shows that 228 cases of the variant were recorded in South Oxfordshire and 151 in Vale of White Horse by June 30.

Collectively, that was nearly 100 more than the cases recorded the week before.